Performers of every stripe, including old favorites and new talents, are heading to Lakewood for the 2012-13 Cultural Center Presents season.
“In our seasons, we try to find 14 to 16 programs that represent a variety of different genres,” said Susan Martin , center administrator. “We find performers for both adults and children, and try to find attractions that will get people interested who may not otherwise come by.”
Beginning Sept. 22 and running through April 20, performers who will stop by the center, in the Civic Center North Building, 470 S. Allison Parkway, run the gamut from dance groups to classical and jazz performers, world musicians to theater performances.
“Every season has been really exciting and different, and this year’s really falls in line with that,” said Rhetta Shead, marketing and promotions supervisor.
Kicking off the season is the Kota Yamazaki Dance group, performing on Sept. 22, which will bring a new interplay between the ideas of shadow and light to Japanese dance.
A special event to honor veterans will be on Nov. 9, with the American Place Theatre’s Literature to Life Stage presentation of Tim O’Brien’s “The Things They Carried.”
In the one-man production, performer Ben Lyons will present adaptations of five short stories from O’Brien’s in-depth study of the soldiers who fought in the Vietnam War.
“The event was really timed for Veteran’s Day. We wanted to tap into the respect for veterans and since it’s the 50th anniversary of the Vietnam War,” Martin said. “It’s really amazing how much of an emotional connection the audience can feel with just one actor.”
Shead added that for the performance, center staff will be looking for ways to engage the community, including having some students get involved and possibly some veteran’s groups.
Several holiday productions are on the schedule, including the traditional performance of “The Nutcracker” on Dec. 15, by the Dawson Wallace Dance Project, which will be performing for the 13th time in Lakewood.
The season will wrap up on April 20 with six-time Grammy-nominee Nnenna Freelon doing a musical tribute to jazz great Lena Horne.
“It should be an amazing show,” Shead said. “I’ve seen her perform before, and she can just belt out these songs.”
The variety of performances in the season owes a lot to Martin, who has built relationships with regional colleagues and agents, and goes to booking conferences to find artists that Lakewood hasn’t seen before.
“I feel very pleased with this season,” she said. “I think it’s going to be a great opportunity for the audience and the performers who come through.”
Shead said the range of performances scheduled also shows how interested residents of Lakewood and the area are in new experiences.
“Lakewood really embraces all cultures, and so I think the diversity of performances reflects the city well,” she said.
For more information and tickets, call 303-987-7845 or go online to www.lakewood.org/culturalcenter.